The Necessary Art of Puttering
Puttering, my mother use to call it. A term of another generation that brings to mind, grandpa in his basement workshop, with glass jars of nails, and scraps of wood everywhere. Puttering has gotten a bad rap, in my opinion. After chastising myself for aimless meandering, ie., puttering, I suddenly realise that this is very necessary spiritual time in the process of creating new art!! I am in deep communion with my inner muses! Ideas are beginning to flow like the water that makes up my astrological sign of Cancer. We are, after all, the most creative sign in the zodiac, if you’re into that sort of thing. I think of this time as a connection to my inner self, that is connected to a greater universal energy source! Where all ideas are floating about in abundance, waiting to be tapped into, and drawn down to earth by our powerful imaginations. When I hear people say “Oh, I’m not a creative type of person”, I usually respond with something like, “It’s all in what you spend your time on”. Everyone has creativity. It’s a matter of refining puttering to an art form.
As the daydreaming progresses, images of new ideas effortlessly evolve, one to the next! A vintage 1920’s silk charmeuse blouse with a unique front panel with Art Deco emboidery is begging me to reproduce it. Another muse whispers in my ear, “make it into a 1920’s wedding gown by simply extending the waistband into a full length gown.” It is now a top priorty and I’ve already found a source in California for the silk charmeuse. It is a cream colored, lovely soft, satin fabric on the surface, with a delicate shimmer, and dull finished on the back side. Drapes like a dream! Think Jean Harlow gowns of the 1930’s!! Cut it on the bias (diagonally) and it flows like water against the body!!
Mind you now, there are mounds of good intentions, and half started projects all over my studio!
Several pieces of handwoven fabric in silk, cotton, and lurex, that I purchased from a handweaving studio in Providence, RI, 20 years ago, are still begging me to cut into them, and make the limited edition of gorgeous evening jackets that they are eventually destined to become. I’m hoping to debut those at the Scituate Art Festival this October! But first, I must finish the teal velveteen English Victorian riding jacket, with silk ribbon embroidered collar, that I started last December! And then there are the two nearly completed wedding gowns waiting to be finished!!
Too many ideas, too little time. Teaching four days a week, leaves little time to accomplish all of these projects in a timely manner. So, prioritizing is key to conquering the chaos that can ensue! I have decided to offer internships to a chosen few of my stellar students, in an effort to see these long awaited projects to their completion.
Puttering is without a doubt, a necessary part of the creative process. So, you can see, up until now, what was a seemingly useless passtime, can actually become an abundant source of ideas, inspiration, and in the end, new works of art, requiring help, and eventual job opportunities! So, the next time you find yourself aimlessly puttering, let it take you where it will. Enjoy the journey!!